To mark Volunteers Week (1st – 7th June) we are shining a spotlight on one of many young volunteer coaches in the gymnastics community who are contributing towards their club and our sport.
Charlotte Wheeler is a young volunteer coach at Hartford School of Gymnastics, Northwich, a club she has been with since the age of three. Now 17, Charlotte aspires to be a coach and she is currently working her way up through the ranks at Hartford
“For years I watched the young coaches come forward and progress in their abilities, some of them becoming my own coaches,” Charlotte began to explain. “I was determined to be in their shoes one day to inspire young gymnasts like me who want to get further involved in the sport by helping and developing their skills.”
Over the last few years, Charlotte has been integrated into Hartford’s coaching team and works with a number of groups whilst also assisting more senior members of staff with their sessions.
“My role in the gym is very varied! I have stable groups who come through the door each week who are eager to learn and be pushed on. Whilst working with these groups I help younger gymnasts who are shadowing me, and are interested in coaching, and I explain what I am doing and why which will hopefully help them when they start coaching.
“During times where I don’t have a group, I help other coaches with their groups, which can range from recreational gymnastics to the developmental squad, allowing me to observe different coaching styles and engage with more gymnasts! Part of my role also involves helping on reception and talking to parents who have general questions about the gym and coaching.”
Like many other young coaches, Charlotte’s personal development has been helped by her work in the gym and she is now looking to complete her UKCC Level general gymnastics qualification to further her coaching knowledge.
“Since beginning coaching it is safe to say the confidence I have in myself has come on leaps and bounds, and it has helped me mature into adulthood. Having such a trusted role has encouraged me to have belief in my decisions, shape the sessions I run and deal with tricky situations in a positive way.”
Volunteers are not only invaluable assets at events but also in clubs across the country. They give up their time and bring energy, enthusiasm and commitment which ultimately helps our community.
Find out more about national Volunteers Week and see how you can celebrate their contributions.